Sport Horse Racing

Sunday 22 April 2018

Paddy Barnes makes cheeky request to Willie Mullins after Ruby Walsh's injury

Tomorrow's Grand National will be short one of the sport's greatest jockeys after Willie Mullins confirmed that Ruby Walsh will miss the marquee race with a fractured wrist.

Walsh was set to ride Sir Des Champs in the National, attempting to win the race for the third time after victories aboard Papillon in 2000 and Hedgehunter in 2005. Nina Carberry will replace him in the race.

The dominant jockey was also set to ride big favourites Yorkhill and Douvan, but Paul Townend will get those rides instead.

Trainer Willie Mullins is probably happy with his choice of replacement, but in case he was having any doubts, diminutive Olympian Paddy Barnes offered his services.

Barnes, who won two Olympic bronze medals at light flyweight, is probably the ideal size for a jockey and given Yorkhill is an almost unbackable favourite at 1/4, the Belfast boxer could probably still steer the horse to glory.

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